Is Cisco Making a Pre-IPO Bid for Skype?

Is Cisco Making a Pre-IPO Bid for Skype?Cisco Systems has reportedly made a bid for Skype, even as the video-conferencing and Internet calling service is gearing up to launch an IPO, according to a TechCrunch report. The article noted that the folks at Skype are hoping to land an IPO valuation of $5 billion, so it would likely take an offer as good or better than that to get them to bite.

For Cisco (CSCO), a Skype purchase would make a lot of sense, given that the networking giant has been snapping up video-related companies over the past several years as part of its expansion in videoconferencing TelePresence systems. Last year, for example, it plunked down $3 billion to acquire videoconferencing infrastructure company Tandberg.

But while a Skype deal on the surface seems like it would fit into Cisco's plans, it's interesting to note that the deep-pocketed networking giant didn't make a play last fall when eBay (EBAY) was unloading a 65% stake in the company, or in 2005, when eBay acquired the company outright.
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